Multidirectional Flow of People

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The purpose of this essay is to evaluate globalisation and the growing multidirectional flows of people, objects, places and information. Firstly I will focus on globalisation and how migration, culture, economics and politics fit into the picture. Secondly I will focus on how globalisation has affected Ireland. To gain a better understanding of globalisation I must first define it. “Globalisation is a transplanetary process or set of processes involving increasing liquidity and the growing multidirectional flows of people, objects, places and information as well as the structures they encounter and create that are barriers to, or expedite, those flows.” (Ritzer,2010,2) A term that is closely related to globalisation is transnationalism, “processes that interconnect individuals and social groups across specific geo-political borders”. (Ritzer,2010,2) Transnationalism however is limited to interconnections that cross geo-political borders for example, Mexican immigrants living in the US sending remittances home to family members in Mexico. Globalisation includes such connections but is not restricted to them and encompasses a far wider range of transplanetary processes.

Globalisation can be analyzed through conceptual metaphors such as solid, liquid, gases and flows. Before the “global age” people, things, places and information tended to harden over time, this lead to a common attribute which was solidity. Solidity prevented the free movement of people, objects and information as they were limited to one place. However over the last few decades there seems to have been a melt and now globalisation is becoming increasingly mobile or liquid. As the process of increased mobility continues, liquid now turns to gases. This enables globalisation to flow even faster and with greater ease. The new liquid and gases have both constructive and destructive effects. Many global flows are interconnected while others maybe multidirectional flows. However flows do not necessarily go everywhere, even when they do they affect places differently. One could argue that globalisation “hops” from one place to another rather than evenly flowing through these places. For example globalisation flows easily through the developed world but bypasses many places in the less developed world.

Globalisation has increased the connectivity and interdependence of the world’s markets and businesses. This process has speeded up dramatically in the last two decades as technological advances make it easier for people to travel, communicate and do business internationally. Two major recent driving forces are advances in telecommunications infrastructure and the rise of the internet. In general as economies become more connected to other economies, they have increased opportunity but also increased competition. Therefore as globalisation becomes a more and more common feature of world economies, powerful pro-globalisation and anti-globalisation lobbies have arisen. “Economic globalisation comprises the globalisation of production, markets, competition, technology, corporations and industries.”(Joshi,2009) While economic globalisation has been occurring for several hundred years, it has begun to occur at an increased rate over the last twenty to thirty years. This recent boom has been largely accounted by developed economies intergrating with less developed economies, by means of foreign direct investment, the reduction of trade barriers, and in many cases cross border immigration. It can be argued that economic globalisation may or may not be an irreversible trend. There are several significant effects of economic globalisation. There is statistical evidence for positive financial effects as well as proposals that there is a power imbalance between developing and developed countries in the global economy. Furthermore, economic globalisation has an impact on world cultures.

Cultural globalisation refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values...
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